Ban Standing Water from Your Home, Guard Against Mosquito Bites
By Yehudit Garmaise
Mosquitos lay their eggs in standing pools of water of any size: even a pool as small as a bottle cap, so New Yorkers must ensure to remove anything from their property that might collect water.
While bites from the buzzing bugs are itchy and uncomfortable, mosquitos that are infected with West Nile Virus (WNV) can lead to serious illness in a small number of people, especially those 50 and older.
West Nile can cause a mild flu-like illness: including fever, headache, body aches, nausea, a skin rash, and swollen lymph glands, but in the worst cases, WNV can cause neurological diseases.
If you suspect you have WNV symptoms, see your physician immediately.
Staying covered up with clothing, ensuring that all your windows and doors have screens that are not torn, using bug repellent, and draping mosquito netting over baby carriages, can help to prevent mosquito bites.
The best way to ban the bugs, however, is to ensure that no standing water collects anywhere near your home.
When checking your property for any items that can provide a place for mosquitoes to breed:
• Stay on the lookout for any discarded items, unused flowerpots, bottles, and bottle caps that could collect water.
• Flip over anything kept outside, such as kids' toys, buckets, wading pools, canoes and wheelbarrow, that is not currently in use.
• Remove all discarded tires.
• Drain the water off the cover of pools, spas, and birdbaths.
• Tightly cover water storage containers, such as buckets, cisterns, and rain barrels, so mosquitoes cannot get inside to lay eggs. For containers without lids, use wire mesh with tiny holes smaller than an adult mosquito.
• Spray an outdoor flying insect repellent where mosquitoes rest: such as dark, humid areas like under patio furniture or under carports and garages. When using insecticides, always follow label instructions.
• Cover open vents and plumbing pipes of septic tanks, which should have all cracks and gaps repaired.
• Clear your roof gutters of vegetation and debris so they drain properly.